A published report says Michigan's public universities have about $4.2 billion on their books as "unrestricted" net assets.
The Detroit Free Press on Monday published details (http://on.freep.com/yiwyvk) of the figure, a 24 percent increase over the previous fiscal year, based on a review that it conducted of financial documents.
The numbers are for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011. They don't include Wayne State University's information, since the school operates under a different fiscal year and its total wasn't yet ready.
The "unrestricted" money generally is meant for special one-time projects. Some parents and university students say officials should tap at least some of the money in the reserve accounts to lower tuition rates.
Officials at several schools, however, say using that money would have negative long-term effects.